Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In which our wedding week turns into a medical drama and a test of my acting ability

September 2008 Thursday night before the Saturday when Sly and Doris arrive. I am still pregnant. But. I notice some bleeding. Which is not a good thing when you are pregnant, regardless of what the internet tells you.

I call my doctor's office Friday morning and they tell me come in. I come. They take my blood. Listen for a heartbeat, which should be audible. None. Doc tells me to come back on Monday for more blood tests. He calls me Saturday to give me the results of Friday's blood test: not good.

Sly and Doris arrive Saturday night. They are whiney. So what else is new? They say nothing about the pregnancy because they are not supposed to know because I am not supposed to know that they told Primo they were not coming to the wedding. Do you need a scorecard yet?

I go back to my doctor on Monday. I do not tell Sly and Doris where I am going. I just tell them I am going to the gym, which is true, and that I have a few quick errands to run after class. Primo is taking the day off anyhow, so he can entertain them, as they are completely incapable of entertaining themselves if they are out of their environment.

The doc takes more blood. I wait for the results. Oh they are worse. Dr B, who is the sweetest, nicest man in the world, is so sad. He tells me to keep the ultrasound appointment I had already scheduled for the next day. It was going to be our first look at the baby ultrasound, but now it's going to be the make sure the baby is dead before we do a D&C ultrasound.

After I pick up a newspaper for Sly and Doris, I go home and roast a chicken for supper while Sly, apparently, nurses a grudge that I did not offer him oatmeal to go with his Cheerios that morning. After Primo and I sit through an interminable supper and clean the kitchen, I excuse myself to go to bed.

Sly and Doris complain that I do not socialize with them.

On Tuesday, I go to the gym in the morning. As I sit on the bench waiting for class to start, another woman in class comes over to me. "Are you OK?" she asks. "You look so sad. Is something wrong?"

I can barely answer her. "I can't talk about it," I say. "I'm sorry."

"OK," she answers. "It's just that you're usually so happy and smiling."

I return home with a newspaper for Sly and Doris, who ask Primo to move the stereo into the living room. I tell them I have a doctor's appointment that afternoon that I had scheduled months ago and that I had been unable to reschedule. I give them my apologies and leave.

The ultrasound confirms that the baby is dead. I explain the situation to the ultrasound doc: what drugs can he give me to deal with Sly and Doris?

He thinks for a while, then answers. "Vodka," he says. "I recommend vodka. Lots of vodka."

We schedule the D&C for Wednesday morning. I dress as if I am going to the gym, but go to the hospital instead. I want Primo with me, but we do not want to tell Sly and Doris. I will be damned if they are going to know about this. It is not theirs. I will not allow them to share our grief. IT IS NOT THEIRS. They do not get to have this. I will not let them be part of this private mourning.

I go alone. When I return, I go into Primo's office, close the door and we cry together.

That night, Sly and Doris take us out to eat. I am drugged. Numb. Lots of vicodin. I yell at Sly. Not as much as I want to. I want to slap his hand when he grabs a piece of bread from the basket on our table, drops it, and takes another instead.

"Were you raised in a barn?" I want to ask. Instead, I just make sure not to take that piece. But I do yell at him when he refuses to listen to Primo sing when we take them to karaoke after. Jerkjerkjerkjerk. He just can't stand not to be the center of attention. And the idea that somebody else might be as good as or better than him? Oh he can't bear it.

Primo waits until he is driving them to the airport on Sunday to tell them about the miscarriage.

They have never said a word about it to me. Never.


  1. OH HOW HORRIBLE. I knew of the two events but never knew how they were intertwined. I am amazed that you were able to get through it all and that both in-laws made it back home without a knife sticking out of their chest.

  2. Echoing AKJ - how horrible. How just utterly awful for you; I don't know how you got through that week, I really don't.


  3. The people who care about you said prayers and shed tears. I'm sorry that not everyone in your life could be sensitive to the pain that you and Primo were feeling.

  4. That is so sad.
    There is no excuse for that.
    I'm so sorry you had to go thru ALL of that...

  5. Oh GOD!!! And I'm an atheist. How does it happen that people can be like this?

  6. Wow....this is indeed shocking. No kind of sympathy? NONE?!?

  7. Thanks, you guys. Yes, it was pretty bad. Thank goodness for vicodin, huh? And the thoughts, prayers and phone calls of good friends.

    AKJ, Primo probably hid the knives. :)

    And LPC, I don't know how people can be like that either. They are so bitter and angry that I don't think they see beyond themselves for anything. The world does not exist beyond their boundaries. That's what I think. But it still does not excuse their behavior. Just explains it.

    Sayya, no. They have never said a word. Never. NEVER. And yet they cannot understand why I cannot just forgive and forget? Sorry, guys. It's not that easy. It's not that I hold this burning grudge or anything, but I have no wish to be their friend. I'm not going to waste my energy on hating them, but I am not going to go out of my way to be more than polite to them, either. They have to be in my life because of Primo so I will be cordial, but that's it.

  8. So sad... Hard times suck :(

  9. I take it back: Your in-laws are worse than mine.


    1. They are pretty bad. It's been almost four years now and they still have never said anything to either of us.

    2. The only time my in-laws were ever nice to me was when it turned out that my eggs had already expired -- at the ripe old age of 34.

      They were very sympathetic for about 3 days -- and then the nightmares started: Magical combinations of prayers to this saint with candles burning at that church; special herbal teas from her Vietnamese hairdresser; detailed instructions on vitamin combinations and sleeping positions; recipes with ingredients from some secret tribe in Africa; make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje; go to confession 3 times a week; every crack-pot thing you can imagine, combined with novenas and hail mary's and rosaries. Lord, have mercy.

      It's SCIENCE, woman. If God wants to work a miracle, fine, but this stuff she was suggesting was virtual voodoo + Santa Claus + insanity.

    3. Some people just don't know how to be supportive.